Friday, June 20, 2014

Big Ninth Inning Backs Up Offensive Struggles in Yankees First Walk-Off Win of Season

In his last three starts, Hiroki Kuroda has frustratingly gotten just two earned runs of support.

The Yankees' number two pitcher, going into tonight's outing against the Orioles, had surrendered no more than two trips around the bases in two of his last three appearances, all New York losses.

Unfortunately, that trend continued for most of this contest, before a bottom-of-the-ninth rally headed by Carlos Beltran bailed the Yanks out in a 5-3 win.

In the contest, Kuroda, whose ERA is now 4.23, didn't give up a hit until the top of the sixth, when Baltimore broke out for four total knocks, a double from Steve Pearce and a single from Adam Jones driving men home.

At that point, Kuroda and the Bombers trailed 2-1, blowing an advantage Mark Teixeira gave them in the bottom of the first, when #25 scored Jacoby Ellsbury with a base hit to right after the latter singled and stole second.

From then until the bottom of the ninth, the Pinstripes got plenty of scoring opportunities, stranding the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh.

Overall, New York left 11 runners in this one, making their final AB appear pretty worthless.

Good thing that wasn't true.

After watching David Huff allow another unearned run in the top half of the frame, the Yanks rallied with a man on first and two out in their last chance, putting the tying run on base after a Teixeira walk.

Following that, the suddenly-hot Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran stepped up to the plate, with McCann singling home a run to keep the game alive and Beltran driving one into the left field seats, giving Zach Britton (0.2 IP, 4 ER) the loss and the Bombers their first walk-off victory of the season.

Beltran's seventh homer of the year also spoiled a nice start from the O's Ubaldo Jimenez, who gave up just one earned run in 5.2 frames.

A Bad Reason To Hate Alex Rodriguez

I started to write my next article for my I've Got Til 5! column, in which I'd debunk five of the reasons people hate Alex Rodriguez, but the first reason got me going so much I decided to make it it's own post. For that reason I skipped this week's edition of I've Got Til 5! so I could work on it.

"Okay, I skipped it because I'm lazy."

It's not hard to dislike somebody that makes more money than you. With very few exceptions, we all believe we work harder than the person next to us. And even if you don't actually dislike that person, there's a good chance you resent him at least a little bit.

With that in mind, I'd like to point out that not including signing bonuses, incentive bonuses, interest, marketing agreements, and other perks, Alex Rodriguez has made nearly half a billion dollars playing baseball.

First of all, it's absolutely ridiculous to feel anything close to hatred for a person because they make more money than you... no matter how much more it is. Show me a person that says they don't want to make as much money as possible, and I'll show you a person that I wouldn't trust to pick the worms I use to go fishing.

Except to kill time between beers, I haven't gone fishing in... like... ever.

According to the Dollar Values given out by Fangraphs, Rodriguez has been worth nearly $250 million. Before you go down and start writing out a comment, telling me I can't do math since that's only half of what he's made, allow me to point out that that $250 million doesn't include 1994 through 2001. If we ignore his '94 and '95 seasons, in which he only had 196 at bats, his average WAR in those other six years was 7.23. That 7.23 WAR is worth approximately $21 million a season. So add another $126 million to his value.

I can hear you screaming, "THAT STILL DOESN'T EQUAL $500 MILLION!!!" And you're right, you mathematical guru. But what about all the money he's generated for the Yankees, Rangers, Mariners, and Major League Baseball in general, through ticket and merchandise sales?

Alex Rodriguez home Yankees jerseys are sold for anywhere from $150 to $200, and with all the Yankees fans in the World, I'm willing to bet there have been millions of them sold. And again... that's just the home jerseys. Do a search for "Alex Rodriguez" at the shop and you'll find 70 items, which go for as little as $13 to as much as $1000.

There's a good chance that Alex has not generated a few million dollars for MLB and the teams he's played for. No. Chances are he's generated billions of dollars for them.

Imagine each star in that picture is a hundred dollar bill.

And then there's the charity work that ARod does and has done, which includes working with organizations like Keep A Child Alive, Raising Malawi, Soles4Souls, and UNICEF. Heck, he gave the University of Miami $3.9 million to build a ballpark.

On that note, it amazes me how much charity work by certain celebrities gets ignored. I'm a pro wrestling fan (as many of you know), and although I'm not a fan of his character, John Cena has granted over 400 wishes for the Make A Wish Foundation. Un-FREAKING-believable.

I'm not saying that you or anybody else doesn't have a good reason to dislike Rodriguez, but the amount of money he makes or has made should not be one of them.

This, on the other hand...

MLB To Honor Lou Gehrig July 4th

Major League Baseball announced they would honor Yankees legend Lou Gehrig on July 4th on the 75th anniversary of his "Luckiest man on the face of the Earth" speech. Gehrig would have been 111 years old on Thursday but died of complications with ALS, now known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

All 30 MLB teams will wear the patch seen above on their uniforms on America's birthday. A first basemen for each team will also recite a line from Gehrig's now famous speech on each teams video board. The Yankees will be on the road for July 4th so they will honor the Iron Horse on July 2nd.

Major League Baseball will donate $300,000 to help raise ALS awareness.

HOPE Week: Quai and Vaida Jefferson

The New York Yankees final day of HOPE Week was spent honoring 18 year old Quai and his mother Vaida Jefferson. Vaida was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 11 years ago and ever since Quai has taken care of his mother and their household alone. The Yankees held a barbecue in the courtyard of Saint Joseph Regional High School with the Yankees Dellin Betances, Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann, Jose Ramirez, Brendan Ryan, CC Sabathia, Yangervis Solarte, Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira, and John Flaherty attending. This is not enough payment for Quai and Vaida but damn, what a gesture.

Here is the write up:

For the Jefferson family, multiple sclerosis has prevented the natural order from running its course. When Vaida Jefferson was diagnosed with the painful autoimmune disease 11 years ago, her son, Quai (pronounced Kway), was just 6 years old. By the time he was 10, he was running the household, cooking, doing laundry and helping his mother use the bathroom. Nurses taught him to check Vaida’s blood pressure and inject her twice a day with Copaxone, a drug which eases the effects of MS.
“He has taken on a parent’s responsibility,” said Regina Kay, a close family friend. “It’s like a role reversal. He’s doing everything his mother would do for him, and he doesn’t give it a second thought. It’s their normal.“
Prior to her diagnosis, Vaida was a design assistant for Jones New York who spent her free time doting on her son and exposing him to a variety of activities, including art classes, piano lessons and tap dancing. Unfortunately, her declining health forced things to change. When most kids would hang out with friends after school, Quai went home to care for his mother, never complaining or shrinking from the responsibility. Over the years since Vaida was first diagnosed, friends and relatives have come and gone but Quai has been steadfast in his devotion.
“She’s truly my heart, my rock and my stone,” Quai said. “She’s all I have.”
Now 18 years old, Quai has recently graduated from St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey. He was on the honor roll and a two-sport varsity athlete in football and basketball. In addition to his academic and athletic responsibilities, Quai does the shopping, cleans the apartment, and cooks for himself and his mother. It’s not easy, but he and his mother have a mantra they repeat to each other in tough times — “Adapt and overcome.”
This summer, Quai will attend the University of Delaware, where he will play football and major in business administration with an emphasis in accounting or marketing.

The Yankees, my Yankees. So proud to be a Yankees fan, especially during HOPE Week.